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Ginsberg, Allen (03 June 1926–06 April 1997), poet, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the younger son of Louis Ginsberg, a high school English teacher and and Naomi Levy Ginsberg. Ginsberg grew up with his older brother Eugene in a household shadowed by his mother's mental illness; she suffered from recurrent epileptic seizures and paranoia. An active member of the Communist Party–USA, Naomi Ginsberg took her sons to meetings of the radical left dedicated to the cause of international Communism during the Great Depression of the 1930s....

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Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins (1825–20 February 1911), political activist and author, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the only child of free parents. She was orphaned at an early age and raised by an aunt. She attended a school for free blacks, which was run by her uncle, the Reverend William Watkins. Her formal education ended at age thirteen. Harper became a nursemaid and found additional employment as a seamstress, needlecraft teacher, and traveling abolitionist lecturer. She also lectured in support of woman suffrage. She later became a schoolteacher in Ohio and Pennsylvania....

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Howe, Julia Ward (27 May 1819–17 October 1910), poet, author, and woman suffrage leader, was born in New York City, the daughter of Samuel Ward, Jr., a Wall Street stockbroker, and Julia Rush, a poet. Julia was five when her mother died of tuberculosis. She was educated both by tutors at home and at schools for young ladies until the age of sixteen. Her father died in 1839. Visiting Boston in 1841, she met Dr. ...

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Lowell, James Russell (22 February 1819–12 August 1891), author and diplomat, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Lowell, a liberal Congregational minister, and Harriet Brackett Spence. Among New Englanders who were apt to take ancestry seriously, the Lowell family was already firmly established in the region’s ecclesiastical and legal annals. During the nineteenth century the Lowell name became synonymous with manufacturing wealth and State Street trusts, but Charles Lowell’s descendants benefited little from this tradition. Their area of prominence was in literature; both James Russell Lowell’s sister Mary Lowell Putnam and brother ...

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O’Connor, William Douglas (02 January 1832–09 May 1889), author and civil servant, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Peter D. O’Connor, a laborer (mother’s name unknown). O’Connor left home at age eight, after an argument with his father. Except for that incident, nothing is known about his childhood or education. In the 1850s he came under the sway of the Providence, Rhode Island, poet ...